We signed up a new secondary school and have been completing assessments, training staff and getting to know our way around the new site which has been fantastic.
The home service and clinic is starting to move forward too and I will be attending training for diagnosis using the ADOS assessment in November which is exciting.
Last week we had a team trip to the theatre to see an amazing play called Plastic Figurines at The New Diorama Theatre in London.
The story was about a sister who must return home from University to care for her brother who has autism. The play was incredibly moving and touched the hearts of many of the team. A few of us needed lots of tissues still at the end of the performance!
As a sister of someone with severe learning difficulties, I was enthralled by the portrayal of the relationship between brother and sister. There were times growing up when I wanted to scream at my brother or became frustrated with him when we couldn't understand each other. When I was very little I even asked to swap him for a new brother or sister on occasion! Ultimately though, he needed me and I needed him, in many different ways. The play got this mix of emotions just right and the audience laughed and ahhed in all the right places with the characters on stage.
I particularly enjoyed where the brother picks up that it must be hard for his sister to have come back from Uni to look after him. It really made me smile to see this empathy between the two siblings. Often we are told that people with autism lack empathy. It was great to see that this performance did not 'buy in' to this description of people on the spectrum. Having a brother or sister with learning difficulties and/or autism shows us this connection we can have with the person behind the label. Sisters look at their siblings as siblings not as labels or difficulties but as the real person. They share their hopes, dreams and fears. We as siblings learn compassion and patience for others and yes, we do want to swap them sometimes but then what brother or sister doesn't have this emotion and desire at some stage in their life!